Festival Launch! offers career boost to Metro Vancouver artists

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      There’s nothing easy about trying to establish a career as an artist in Metro Vancouver.

      But a new mentorship program aims to help guide emerging talents toward achieving their professional goals.

      The inaugural Festival Launch! takes place at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in downtown Vancouver June 21 to 22.

      Organized by the nonprofit group 149Arts, the program is seeking applicants in a range of disciplines, including music, media arts, performance arts, dance, and other forms.

      Selected artists will have the opportunity to learn from professionals in the cultural sector during workshops and to present their work to an audience during two showcase events.

      “It’s a springboard for new, young professionals—artists at the beginning of their career,” Max Wyman, a cultural commentator and festival spokesperson, told the Straight by phone.

      “The more potential you have to get exposure as a young artist, whatever the discipline, the more valuable that is to your development,” said Wyman, who is also a program mentor.

      “You can only know how well you’re doing by testing it on other people and this (Festival Launch!) is giving them the chance to do that.”

      The career-development workshops will cover areas such as branding, grant writing, promotion, performance, and self-management.

      Organizers say the program is open to people from Metro Vancouver who are serious about pursuing a career in the arts and who already have some training and professional experience.

      The deadline for artists to apply is Tuesday (May 28). More information is available here.